The Walt Disney Company has struck a deal for naming rights of what is currently known as Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Yes, just in time for the AFL finals, from September 1 this year it will be known as Marvel Stadium. That’s likely going to confuse commentator Brian Taylor, who often can’t even get player names right.
The deal will last for eight years, in which time we estimate we’ll see approximately 573 new Marvel flicks released*.
As well as the name, the stadium will have a Marvel merch setup, interactive tech installations and, of course, they’ll have access to all of those really, really big screens, and animated billboards, and… Hey, at least it might make a fun change from all of that gambling ad malarkey – plus if played right it will add to the experience for kids dragged to games by their footy tragic parents.
There are sure to be a whole lot of marketing opportunities opening up from this. Will they get Collingwood legend Rene Kink – who was nicknamed “The Incredible Hulk” by Lou Richards – to attend the renamed stadium’s re-opening ceremony?
Maybe a Marvel round, where teams change their strips and names to more Marvel-ous things? After all, they do tend to like the bucks generated by alternative strips, and these would appeal to a worldwide flock of Marvel merch collectors. The West Coast Wolverines? The Hawthorn Hawkeyes? The Adelaide Ant-Men? How about Groot-er Western Sydney?
Meanwhile, here’s a special bit of the first ever AFL game played at what will soon be called Marvel Stadium. Over to you, Bruce!
* We’re rubbish at estimating